HomeTrombone and other brassDavis Shuman: neglected pioneer trombone soloist

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Davis Shuman: neglected pioneer trombone soloist — 12 Comments

  1. I studied with Shuman in 1965 at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara. I felt like he really cared about us students. It’s a life long wonderful memory for sure.

  2. Dave Taylor studied with Him at Juilliard. After he died, Dave switched to bass trombone and studied with Roger Smith. The rest is history.

  3. My Father, William Meigs Eddy, taught voice at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara(at the same time Davis Schuman was there) in the 1960’s, at the invitation of Lotte Lehmann. I played the Clarinet in my elementary school orchestra and badly wanted to switch and play the Trombone. My Dad spoke to Mr. Schuman about getting me a Trombone and I ended up getting a fairly nice Olds & Sons Trumpet from him. I never completely understood why I ended up getting a trumpet instead of a trombone but I think it may have had something to do with my Dad getting a good deal on it! I later ended up playing the same nice old trumpet in the Santa Barbara City College Concert Band. I never did get a trombone but I certainly admired them. Now my Grand daughter, who is 17 and a Junior in High School in Burien Washington, wants to borrow my trumpet and learn to play. She played the Clarinet in Elementary and Middle School orchestras and bands and also plays the piano and the guitar. My Dad served as a tank commander & platoon leader in Europe in WWII: Normandy Invasion, St Lo, Battle of the Buldge, etc. When the war in Europe ended he was offered a commission as a Captain if he would transfer to the War in the Pacific but he respectfully declined telling his superior officers that he had done his duty and must return to his life as a musician in the States..

  4. Thank you for this article about my father.
    He was a remarkable musician, responsible for the creation of many solo and chamber works and certainly should not be forgotten.

    In addition to the angular trombone, he also patented both a trumpet with a bell that swiveled and stackable string mutes. All of those are in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

    Although I may be somewhat prejudiced, as a musician myself, I can honestly say that my father had one of the most beautiful trombone sounds I’ve ever heard. So I’m rather surprised to read the words ‘harsher articulation’ and ‘likely found his sound unfamiliar and unpleasant’ associated with him and cannot reconcile them with what I heard live and what can be heard on his many recordings – both commercial and private.

    • And thanks for commenting. About your father’s sound, I think it’s safe to say that a certain “international” trombone sound has emerged that differs from his. Whether anyone likes it or not must be a matter of taste. I have seen some scathing reviews. I only tried to explain why he hasn’t remained better known and respected than he was in his lifetime.

  5. i saw a sheet that Davis wrote tucked inside the score for the Bloch Symphony on how to write for the trombone. It is in the U.C. Berkeley Music Library.

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